There are two distinct types of the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Under the microscope they appear almost identical and they share many of the same characteristics. The most significant difference being that HSV-1 more commonly occurs above the waist and HSV-2 is generally found to infect below the waist. HSV-1 is responsible for the cold sores, fever blisters around the mouth, nose and lips. HSV-2 produces sores and blisters on and around the genitals and anus. If you receive unprotected oral sex from a person who has HSV-1 cold sores you can become infected with HSV-1 on your genitals. If you perform oral sex on someone who has HSV-2 genital sores you can become infected with HSV-2 on your face and mouth.
The symptoms usually occur after a week of infection or may take longer to appear. An outbreak of herpes can cause considerable pain and distress. Symptoms of the episode may include:
- flu-like symptoms – such as feeling unwell, headaches and pains in the back and legs, with or without enlarged glands in the groin
- small blisters around the genitals – these break open to form shallow, painful ulcers, which scab over and heal after one to two weeks
- mall cracks in the skin with or without an itch or tingling
- redness or a distinct rash that some people also have considerable pain and swelling in the genital area, and may have additional pain and difficulty passing urine
The Herpes virus can infect other parts of the body, including the eyes, liver, lungs, kidneys and the brain. Herpes Encephalitis affects around 2 million people and occurs where the virus infects the brain. This can be extremely dangerous and symptoms may include a sore throat, vomiting, fever, resulting in a coma and death if left untreated. HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also be highly dangerous for pregnant women, the foetus and newborn babies. If the baby becomes infected in the uterus this can cause eye disease and severe brain damage. During delivery there is a significant potential for the mother to unknowingly infect the newborn baby.
Researchers have identified a defect in the immune system which causes some people to develop life threatening inflamation of the brain.
Aarhus University. “Cause of viral infection of the brain mapped out.”
ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2015
In general the Herpes virus is considered to be species specific, however new Findings have shown that the virus can jump from the host animal to other species causing fatalities.
Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB).
“Herpes viruses with an unusual broad host range.”
ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2015.
New scientific investigations discover that the Herpes virus is active even when no symptoms appear.
Australian National University.
“Herpes remains active even when no symptoms appear.”
ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2014.
Explanation of the neurological damage to the brain caused by the Herpes virus.
June 12, 2015 | by Morenike Adebayo
What Does Herpes Do To Your Brain?
Synergy evaluation of anti-Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 and 2 compounds acting on different steps of virus life cycle.
Targeting different steps of the herpes virus life cycle, including entry and cell-to-cell infection,
Date: Jan, 2018
Source: Science Direct
Autism risk linked to herpes infection during pregnancy.
Women actively infected with genital herpes during early pregnancy had twice the odds of giving birth to a child later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to a new study.
Date: February 22, 2017
Source: Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health
Herpes virus linked to most common type of childhood cancer.
Newborns with congenital cytomegalovirus — a common virus in the herpes family — may have an increased risk of developing acute lymphocytic leukemia, according to new research. The study suggests the risk is even greater in Hispanic children.
Date: December 15, 2016
Source: American Society of Hematology
Man jailed for 14 months in UK for infecting his girlfriend with Genital Herpes.
By Andy Dolan for the Daily Mail
Woman says her twins were stillborn after she contracted herpes from Usher
By Kelly Mclaughlin & Chris Spargo for the Daily Mail